100% Made in USA

Reshoring and Restoring American Jobs

Hockey Stick Repair

A Hockey Stick Repair- With Photos!

Working in a carbon fiber factory opens up a whole different realm of opportunities within a small community. It brings to the table a whole new set of skills needed from workers, goods being imported and exported, and also increasing the amount of machinery and skilled trades in an area. With all those added together, our team of workers has devised a plan of what other ways we can bring work in from the community. Being in northern Michigan, most cities have an ice rink, and hockey is a very popular sport. Hockey sticks are typically made from a composite mixture, meaning they were crafted with carbon fiber, fiberglass, or some other combination. With all that said, we have decided we are going to see how our carbon fiber technologies work with fixing broken hockey sticks.

When a hockey stick breaks, it leaves behind a very splintered edge or fracture, which can easily be fixed with an application of carbon fiber acting as a “band-aid” around the break. Below you’re going to see a step-by-step process of how we’re fixing hockey sticks here at USSPC. Please note that we are still in a trial-and-error period, testing different methods until we figure out what works best. For the process you’re about to read, we had two completely broken shafts to repair.

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First, we need to prep the stick by sanding off some paint. We sand the paint off to expose some of the composite materials for the carbon for bonding. We used a wet belt sanding machine, which has a sandpaper belt using a continuous flow of water to mitigate dust.  If inhaled, carbon dust can cause permanent damage to your body. I also took a metal file and scored the fibers on the outside a bit, leaving them roughed-up to grab the new materials more easily.

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Next, I placed the sticks in our warming oven to dry them out and heat up. It’s ideal to work with the hockey stick at a hot temperature so the carbon fiber has better adhesion.

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While the sticks were warming up in the oven, I prepared the carbon fiber strips to fix the sticks. I cut two unilateral pieces that were 9”x5” and two longer strips that were 24”x2” for each stick.

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After about 20 minutes in the oven, we take the sticks out and apply some Loctite 401 (fancy super glue) to all the broken fibers, get them aligned properly, and allow that to cure flat. We like to do this so that the stick is easier to work with wrapping the carbon fiber, and it stays straight more easily during the final curing process.

Next, I stuck one stick back in the oven to warm back up (they cool off quickly) and we began to fix the other. I first laid on one uni. layer with the blade facing up. Next, I wrapped one long piece up the shaft diagonally, then the second 24” piece down the shaft at the opposite angle. I finished the band-aid job by one last application of a uni. layer with the blade facing down. I make sure when I do something to one side of the repair, I do the same to the other, ensuring that they are equal in strength. I repeated this same process on the other stick.
The next step is to wrap a cellophane tape around the band-aid very tightly. This makes the carbon fiber tighter against the shaft, which will help it cure more easily. I also attached a wooden board to the stick to make sure it stays straight when curing in the oven.

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The stick goes into the oven at 245* for one and a half hours. After it comes out, we removed the brace and cellophane tape, and viola! We have two fixed hockey sticks. The whole process took less than two hours from start to finish, and its helping people save money and time. When you buy a very expensive hockey stick, and it breaks after your warranty is up, the last thing you want to do it throw it away. Taking it to a pro hockey shop can take weeks to eventually get fixed, but here we almost always have the ovens on, and already have the resources on-hand to repair them.IMG_9457

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Thanks for reading this post. If you’re in need of a hockey stick repair or have another idea we can add to our capabilities, feel free to leave a comment below.

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